Government tackling housing affordability with new taskforce

Jodie Humphries 10 March 2017

housing affordability taskforceThe federal government is focusing on the supply of community housing in its latest attempt to tackle housing affordability issues.

Federal treasurer Scott Morrison today announced the establishment of the Affordable Housing Implementation Taskforce. The taskforce has been established to help develop a bond aggregator model that can possibly be used by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. A bond aggregator model gives community housing providers access to longer-term and cheaper loans so they can buy or construct more housing for low-income earners who rely on this type of housing.

“The Turnbull Government recognises that housing affordability remains a concern for many hard-working Australians, including the 30% of Australians who live in rented homes and those who rely on affordable and social housing,” Morrison said in a statement.

The taskforce is focused on community housing and as well as helping those on low incomes access more affordable rental housing. As part of the model, the government will work as an intermediary by sourcing cheap loans from private investors and supply the cash from these loans to the community housing providers.

Morrison told Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast that this model has been working overseas but he admits that it isn’t the whole solution.

“What has been working overseas for some time is that community housing associations can gain access to more affordable finance over a much longer period of time," Morrison said. "It can fill a missing gap for a lot of these housing associations... to ensure that new developments can get underway and that finance can be in place to support these developments and to make them more commercially viable. It's not the whole solution but it has certainly been part of the solution in many parts of the world.”

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